Manchester United are reportedly in advanced talks with Real Madrid over the transfer of Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale, report the Manchester Evening News. The Welsh international, who starred for Los Blancos in May’s Champions League final with a brace against Liverpool in a 3-1 victory, publicly voiced his displeasure at becoming a bit-part player at the Bernabeu after the game had concluded, putting United on high alert. Bale took umbridge with not being a key part of Zinedine Zidane’s plans during the last campaign, and spent a large chunk of the second half of last season on the bench, but the Frenchman’s surprise resignation after May’s final and the hiring of former Spain coach Julen Lopetegui had seemingly shifted the landscape to the point where a move for Bale instantly felt less likely.
To make matters even more complicated, Cristiano Ronaldo also took the chance to suggest that his time in the Spanish capital was coming to a close, but having spent several years threatening to leave Real before backtracking after receiving a pay rise, the Portuguese captain surprised everyone by completing a move to Juventus this week. With the club’s talismanic no.7 now gone, a move for Bale appeared to be next to impossible, but the report states that talks over the transfer of the former Tottenham Hotspur winger have reached an advanced stage.
The final say will lie with the player, who is seeking assurances from Real’s new manager that he will still have a big part to play for the club going forward. One assumes that such assurances will be forthcoming, with Real unlikely to want to lose both Bale and Ronaldo in the same summer, but if the player remains unimpressed it appears that United are ready to pounce and finally sign a player that they’ve courted several times over the last five years.